Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clinic with Ex-Big Leaguers to Cap Week with Legends; Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins among Those Scheduled to Appear

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clinic with Ex-Big Leaguers to Cap Week with Legends; Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins among Those Scheduled to Appear

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Sabella

A Week with Baseball Legends will end at the same place it started: J.P. Small Memorial Stadium.

On Sept. 16 Jacksonville used the field to screen "42," a movie about the life of Jackie Robinson, and several retired Major League Baseball All-Stars will mentor 150 invited kids during a clinic at the ballpark Saturday.

The stadium is known by baseball veterans from the Negro Leagues as its former name, Durkee Field, and the weeklong event is meant to both honor those players and raise money for charity, said Thomas Bozzuto, a development associate for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida.

Among the players who were scheduled to attend the Legends for Youth baseball clinic are Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins, Willie Wilson and Amos Otis, according to an event program.

Along with the movie screening and clinic, the law firm of Pajcic & Pajcic sponsored a reception at the Ritz Theatre and Museum on Tuesday to celebrate the new Shades of Greatness exhibit. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., brought the traveling exhibit to Jacksonville through Oct. 9.

The week - a partnership between Bozzuto's charity, Mayor Lenny Curry, Patriot Rail, the Jacksonville Sports Council, the Jacksonville Suns, the MLB Alumni Association and the city - also included a Friday gala that benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida and the Police Athletic League of Jacksonville. Single tickets were $200 and 10-person tables were $2,000, and approximately 300 people attended.

During the gala, the Bill Lucas Humanitarian Award - named after the first black general manager in Major League Baseball - was presented to Jacksonville resident Harold "Buster" Hair, a surviving member of the Negro Leagues.

"It's the first time, we believe, anything like this has been done in Jacksonville," Bozzuto said, reflecting on the week of events. …

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